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News fromTønder Festival

Add to this year’s Tønder Festival bill: American prizewinners, Irish musical heroes, roots veterans and innovators, Scots bagpipe rock, real Mardi Gras Indians and a Danish star in the making from Tønder.

Eight names have been added to the programme for Tønder Festival 2017, and in the true Tønder spirit we have both international names on the way up, experienced veterans and new, younger shoots on the folk and roots music tree.

From USA, new country music hopeful Sam Outlaw, who has just been awarded the International Album Of The Year prize at The UK Americana Awards 2017 for his album Angeleno. Another American musician coming to Tønder Festival is singer and songwriter Sarah Jarosz, last at Tønder Festival in 2011, one of the top presences on the American roots music scene and winner of two Grammy prizes in USA in February 2017.

Irish craftsmen and wild Scots

From Ireland we have Ulaid, a trio of the finest musians in Irish traditional music. And Tønder Festival’s music lovers have a turbo-treat in store when The Red Hot Chilli Pipers from Scotland let it rip with rock guitar and bagpipes.

Local star and Indians from New Orleans

The past few years, Tønder Festival has featured the funky New Orleans band King James & The Special Men. They’ll be back this year with added power: Young Seminole Hunters – real Mardi Gras Indians in colourful robes providing the historic New Orleans vibe. Moreover, the Brooklyn band Spirit Family Reunion, top class blues and roots with Hans Theessink & Terry Evans, plus– naturally – a concert with local and now national celebrity Jacob Dinesen.

A single cancellation

The US singer, songwriter and fiddler Sara Watkins was booked for this year’s Tønder Festival, but unfortunately has had to pull out. “I had been looking forward to coming to Tønder Festival, and I am really sorry to have to tell you that unforeseen circumstances have obliged me to cancel my trip to Tønder this year. I hope we can do it at a later time,” writes Sara Watkins in a mail.

One-day Ticket Sales
A limited number of one-day tickets / wristbands will be on sale from 3rd April 2017. A one-day wristband for the Thursday and the Sunday of the Festival costs 600 DKK, while the Friday or Saturday price is 800 DKK. As for the all-days wristband, there are price reductions for students and  under-17s. See more on ticket sales at

The musicians:

Sam Outlaw (USA)
Hugely successful concerts in 2015 with Sturgill Simpson and last year with Jason Isbell and Margo Price have already apprised the Tønder Festival audience of some of the key players in today’s American country music. Sam Outlaw is on his way to joining them with his powerful, honest and poignant songs. His debut album Angeleno appeared in 2015, produced by Ry and Joachim Cooder. Here, Sam Outlaw creates his own South Californian country sound, with a Bakersfield Telecaster twang and shades of late sixties country rock from Los Angeles, such as Gram Parsons, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers gave us. The buzz raised by Angeleno has taken Sam Outlaw on tour: hundreds of concerts in USA and several European tours. In February, the album was named International Album of The Year at the UK Americana Awards 2017. Sam Outlaw is coming to Tønder with a new record to his name. Entitled Tenderheart, it features among others Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) and Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket). This will be Sam Outlaw’s only Danish festival in 2017.

Sarah Jarosz (USA)
Newly proclaimed double Grammy winner for her album Undercurrent, Sarah Jarosz is without a doubt one of the biggest names on the US folk scene right now. The Tønder Festival audience fell under her spell in 2011 when Sarah Jarosz appeared and had the whole of Tent 1 yelling out the chorus to Tom Waits’ Come on Up to the House. Back then she was virtually unknown in Denmark, but taking off at home in USA. Sarah Jarosz was just 16 when she signed with the renowned record company Sugar Hill Records, and her debut Song Up in Her Head was nominated for a Grammy in 2010. Accompanying her on that recording were some top musicians: Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, Aoife O’Donovan and Tim O’Brien among them. She performed with the latter at Tønder Festival. Sarah Jarosz set out at the age of ten playing mandolin, then branched out into guitar, mandocello and banjo to accompany her gentle, clear voice. She has been compared to great singers like Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch, but her uncompromising musical touch is all her own. Only at Tønder Festival this summer can you enjoy Sarah Jarosz’ atmospheric lyrics.

Ulaid (IR)

With a background in some of the major Irish bands, these three musicians have already established their credentials as exponents and interpreters of traditional music. John McSherry, described by The Irish Music Magazine as “the true master” of the Irish uilleann pipes, has been in at the start of bands like Lúnasa and Tamalin, and was part of Donal Lunny’s cross-over project Coolfins. Fiddler Dónal O’Connor began his career in the group Lá Lugh, where his mother sang. He has also a reputation as one of Ireland’s most talented producers and has worked with Mary Dillon, Bob Brozman and John Spillane. Guitarist Seán Óg Graham was a founder member of the acclaimed group Beoga and also plays in the Scots supergroup Fiddler’s Bid. Together, the three weave a magic spell. Newly-composed tunes intermingle smoothly with the traditional material to build fascinating new structures.  The blinding precision with which improvisation and experiment flow into hectic jigs and reels is guaranteed to bring any audience to their feet. This is Ulaid’s only Danish festival in 2017.

Red Hot Chilli Pipers (SCO)

Their own name for it is bagrock: a heaving, frenetic blend of Highland pipes and familiar riffs and hits from the rock and pop charts. Red Hot Chilli Pipers from Scotland put on a priceless show bubbling over with musical verve and bags - yes - of humour. Several of the members of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers are graduates of The Royal Scottish Academy of Music And Drama, and there is no shortage of drama when the Red Hot Chilli Pipers hit the stage. This is a world-class show, with bagpipes in screaming overdrive on the shoulders of sweaty hunks in kilts. The set includes spectacular covers of Queen’s We Will Rock You, Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water and Coldplay’s Clocks. Founded in 2002, Red Hot Chili Pipers won the BBC talent show When Will I Be Famous?, went on to release eight albums, tour the world and play hundreds of concerts each year. In 2007 and 2010 Red Hot Chilli Pipers won the Scottish Live Act Of The Year award. This is their only Danish festival in 2017.

Young Seminole Hunters and King James & The Special Men (USA)

The past two years, Tønder Festival-goers have been exposed to an energy bomb: the 7-piece New Orleans band King James & The Special Men, fronted by singer Jimmy Horn. Funky and classic New Orleans rhythm’n'blues with nuances of Roy Brown, Fats Domino and Professor Longhair, imported directly from the streets of New Orleans. This year brings an added attraction. The band will be joined by Young Seminole Hunters, authentic Mardi Gras Indians in impressive, colourful gear. Mardi Gras Indians turn out for parades at the annual Mardi Gras carneval, dressed up in inventive, garish costumes inspired by historical garb worn by America’s original tribes. There are over 30 Mardi Gras Indian ‘tribes’ taking part in the carneval year after year, making an important contribution to the city’s musical culture. The tv series Treme, about New Orleans after Katrina, gives a realistic idea of the role and influence of the Mardi Gras Indians. Do not miss this special NOLA experience! Tønder Festival 2017 is the only place to see it.

Jacob Dinesen (DK)
In a fairy-tale like sequence of events, Tønder boy Jacob Dinesen, who played at Tønder Festival for the first time in 2012, has gone on to win national fame. Now 21 years old, singer, songwriter and guitarist Jacob Dinesen has released his second album Brace Against The Storm, which came out in 2016. The hit from the album Roll With Me was the most played number on Radio Denmark’s P4 for many weeks, and has so far been watched over 300,000 times on YouTube. Jacob Dinesen’s 2017 diary contains over 80 concerts, among them, of course, an appearance at Tønder Festival. Alex Nyborg Madsen of DR’s P4 said the year before last that Jacob Dinesen was “one of the biggest talents Denmark has seen for years.” That talent has taken off, and Tønder Festival, Jacob Dinesen’s home ground, is proud to present, once again, our local star.

Spirit Family Reunion (USA)
In 2016, Tønder Festival’s audience discovered Spirit Family Reunion. The six-piece band from Brooklyn is back this year, and there are many reasons to rejoice. Spirit Family Reunion master the American musical traditions and the acoustic instruments they demand. Country, bluegrass and traditional folk music from the Appalachians are given expert, loving treatment, on acoustic guitar, banjo, violin, bass, percussion and multiple layers of vocals. Two of the band’s members worked in a bar in Brooklyn and started playing music together. In 2010 they set up Spirit Family Reunion, releasing their debut album No Separation in 2012. In 2015 the bandet put out the album Hands Together. Today, they tour constantly, including this long European tour in August and September 2017. Spirit Family Reunion have performed at the legendary Newport Folk Festival and shared stages with Alabama Shakes, The Felice Brothers and Tedeschi Trucks Band. This is their only Danish festival in 2017.

Hans Theessink & Terry Evans (NL, USA)
Born in Holland in 1948, guitarist and songwriter Hans Theessink has a huge, loyal following in Denmark. He has toured for over 40 years and has made countless recordings. Hans Theessink shares a lot of Tønder Festival’s story, for he has attended most years since the mid-70s. This year, Hans Theessink is coming to Tønder Festival with his American colleague, singer and songwriter Terry Evans, who has worked with Ry Cooder and Bobby King. Terry Evans (born 1937), has released many solo albums, and his contribution to the film soundtrack for Crossroads from 1986 gave added impetus to his career. Theessink and Evans have often toured together and have made numerous albums, the most recent being True & Blue, nominated for an Austrian Amadeus Award in 2016.
Hans Theessink tours Denmark regularly, and in March and April 2017 is again on tour here with his Danish guitar partner Knud Møller. This is Theessink and Evans’ only Danish festival in 2017.

The 2017 Roster – so far:

Lucinda Williams (USA), Shovels & Rope (USA), Loudon Wainwright III (USA), Marc Cohn (USA), Daniel Norgren (S), Grant-Lee Phillips (USA), John Moreland (USA), Sam Outlaw (USA), Savage Rose (DK), Foy Vance (ENG), Allan Olsen (DK), Jacob Dinesen (DK), Lion Bear Fox (CAN), Ulaid (IRL), A.J. Croce (USA), Altan (IRL), Sarah Jarosz (USA), Tami Neilson (CAN/NZ), Kentaur (DK), Ìmar (SCO, IRL), Hush (DK), Afenginn & GLAS (DK, NO, FO, FI), Réalta (IRL), Nive Nielsen (GRL), Homesick Hank (DK), Dallahan (SCO/IRL), Romengo (HU), Talisk (SCO), Danni Nicholls (UK), Kaia Kater (CAN), Laura Mo (DK), Dorthe Gerlach (DK), Hans Theessink & Terry Evans (NL, USA), Karl Blau (USA), William Prince (CAN), Yola Carter (ENG), Leyla McCalla (USA), Mick Flannery (IRL), Spirit Family Reunion (USA), Young Seminole Hunters & King James & The Special Men (US), Red Hot Chilli Pipers (SCO)… and many more!

Tønder Festival 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th August 2017
Twitter: @tonderfestival

Permalink - Posted: March 23, 2017 at 10:54 am